Santa Fe Irrigation District fills board vacancy

New Santa Fe Irrigation Director Ken Westphal with President Michael Hogan.

The Santa Fe Irrigation District Board of Directors appointed Rancho Santa Fe resident Ken Westphal as its new director, representing Divison 1 which includes Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach.

Westphal, the only applicant for the vacancy after Frank Creede’s resignation in December, was interviewed by the board on Feb. 17, sworn in that day and went right to work taking his seat on the dais.

“Needless to say, water is a very important natural resource and the climatic challenges intensify our community interests as well as water industry innovation,” Westphal said. “It is my hope that I can provide navigational skills to help meet the challenges of supplying water, a very critical resource.”

Westphal has lived in the Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe area for more than 40 years and said he understands the challenges facing the two diverse communities with unique needs.

Westphal recently retired as a chief growth officer for ACCO Engineered Systems, one of the largest independent mechanical contractors in the country. At ACCO he was responsible for expansion into new geographic markets, new product additions and facilitation of strategic acquisitions. He also worked with a variety of labor and management initiatives in the training of trade labor and apprenticeship programs for mechanical contractors.

A couple of years ago while planning for his retirement, he was looking for ways to get involved in his community and volunteered to serve on the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s Infrastructure and Roads Committee. His professional commercial and industrial construction experience and interest in water led to him serving on the Association’s Water Committee.

“On behalf of the board of directors, we warmly welcome Mr. Westphal,” said Michael Hogan, board president in a news release. “We appreciate his willingness to volunteer for this position and look forward to the perspective his experience will bring to managing our community’s water supply. Our board has a busy slate in the coming months with redistricting, establishing a new budget and going through the rate-setting process, and I’m pleased we have a full board again.”

Westphal’s term will expire in December 2022. The Division 1 director seat will be up for a two-year term in the November 2022 election.